Confessions of a Poacher
By: John Watson (1858-1928)
The poacher of these "Confessions" was no imaginary being. Following in his father's and forefather's footsteps, he learnt from an early age the practical skills of poaching and woodcraft. It was, however, Mother Nature that made old "Phil" a Poacher but she also made him a Sportsman and a Naturalist at the same time. Never did any man appear in closer sympathy with the wild creatures about him.
Even when about eighty years of age, there was still some of the old erectness in his carriage; some of the old fire in his eyes. As a young man he was handsome, though in later years his features were battered out of all original conception. His silvery hair still covered a lion-like head, and his tanned cheeks were hard and firm.
If his life had been a lawless one he had undoubtedly paid a heavy price for his wrong doings. Great as a poacher, he must have been great whatever he had been.